Tuesday, September 30, 2008

::a week of wishing::

This week i hope to …

::welcome larry the painter over, to finally come and final coat our house and make it white and pretty. (rain rain, please go away)
::enjoy some free labor from joe the drywaller, who’s coming to fix the stucco part on the front of our house.
::go apple picking, buy a pumpkin, and maybe some yummy fall treats...an apple fritter perhaps
::make something sweet, cinnamon-y and apple-y
::have a double date with our favorite pastor and his wife
::have a little time to relax together and enjoy my favorite season with my favorite boy
::maybe sneak on a pair of knee high boots if the weather stays cool like it is now
::Ooooh, and maybe wear a scarf, or a hat, or a puffer vest…the possibilities are endless!

What do you hope to do this week???

Sunday, September 28, 2008

refrigerator wisdom

i used to get Real Simple magazine...my favorite part of the mag every month was the little tear-out calendar and the little quote that they put in there. i ended my subscription because i found the magazine kind of boring and monotonous, but i do miss those sweet little perforated edged goodies.

i've kept three of my favorite quotes on my fridge {shown above}, hung by endearing little magnets for almost a year now. they are imbedded in my mind and i kind of like it that way. i thought about taking them down this morning, but i like having these reminders on my fridge as small daily reminders of what life is really about...so i thought i'd share:

"In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiousity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." -Edith Wharton

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip." -J.M. Barrie

"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry." -E.B. White

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

sweaters & scarves {and everything else}

i have my sweaters out and organized, along with the rest of my {closet/office}
and a drawer full of tights all ready for colder weather...and a collection scarves hanging in the closet.
this past month has been spent going through all of my clothes. I have come to the conclusion that i hoard too much and i must purge and give away. to date i have bagged up four garbage bags of clothes to give away...shoes are another story.

today I’m wearing a short-sleeve sweater over a tanktop with jeans,
it’s 75+ degrees outside and I’m pretending it’s a chilly fall day as I sit in the air-conditioning indoors.
wearing wedges instead of the boots I so badly want to pull over wool socks.
New slippers are waiting bedside my bed for a night that’s too cold to go barefoot

Not yet, but hopefully soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

my very own mr. bunyan

today i had my very own paul bunyan in my backyard, and boy was he cute.
we acquired some free firewood that just needed chopping,
so after no luck with a dull ax, our neighbors lent us their super-duper electric wood splitter.
so now we have a stack of wood and just need to get our fireplace inspected for use.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

picnic in the ::park:: {backyard}

Tonight the weather was glorious.
Warm and cool mingled together.
It was still yet breezy.
Summer hasn’t ended, but fall is surely in the air.

We lay a blanket and have a picnic.
Dine on a feast of spinach and feta chicken sausages
Spinach salad with
Cherry tomatoes and
Ripe peaches
grilled zucchini

We toast to health and the season’s change
We toast not to wealth,
For it matter’s little,
We only hope for just enough
Enough for what autumn may bring

we are lucky tonight, under stars barely escaping sun and clouds.
We are lucky and together.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i heart hearting fall

As much as I love the summer with her suntans and painted toenails and margaritas – I love fall more.
As my skin starts to fade and we spend less and less time outdoors, I am still happy. Maybe even happier.

I start wearing sweaters even when the temperature outside is still in the 70’s –
I start baking banana bread even though with the oven on, I’m sweating profusely in my cozy kitchen –
I start pulling out my knee-high leather boots, even though it’s really still shorts weather –
And I start putting out the small amount of autumn items I have accumulated, and placing them sparsely around my house.

And I don’t care that I’m still sleeping with bare feet at night –
And I don’t care that the grill is still positioned on the side of the house –
And I don’t care that my nose is still freckled from the sun–
I’m ready, so ready…

-To take air conditioners out of windows,
-To turn the heat on,
-To swap Bermuda shorts and wife-beaters for scarves and slippers.

Leaves lay on our lawn, and I’m antsy to rake -
To throw leaves at the dog and watch her run,
To sip white hot chocolate in the evenings in my sweats,
To start new indoor projects and start nesting for the long winter that lies ahead.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


if you read my last blog past, you know about my tragic sweater and my first sewing project, a fun little tote bag...i thought i'd give you the visuals, since i forgot to include them before...
i wish i had more pictures of what i've made...but i never thought about it.
hopefully in the future, i'll remember to post pics of my little crafting excursions!

{let's just say, the picture makes it look better than it really was...and don't ask about the color - the yarn was on sale!}

{i must say, i'm very proud of this little tote, though i have yet to use it or give it away...maybe someone will get lucky oneday!}

no, thank you

My mom and I were just talking about this a couple of weeks ago…She asked me what some of my earliest childhood memories were…She knows I have a horrible memory and that's why I write everything down, In one of my earliest memories, I couldn't have been much older than 2 or 3. We used to color at the dining room table – me, my sister and my mom…Each with our own coloring book and a box of 64 crayolas to share between the three of us.

Inevitably, my sister and I would always stop coloring to watch mom, our artist mom, color and shade and outline and turn a picture of strawberry shortcake into a masterpiece. We would stop and jealously stare at her work of art, wishing we were older, so we could color like mom.

As we grew there were always crafts and art projects taking place around our house. My dad would hold coloring contests and award a prize to the one who colored in the lines the best – or sometimes the most creative one who colored outside of the lines best would win.

My dad is not really very artistic, but one thing he does love on occasion is a paint by number. They take little creativity, yet yield the same results, a masterpiece of sorts – simply using water. He is not creative, but he loved and valued my creative mother and the love she handed down to us, her children, to be inspired - to create.

As we grew up, our creative tastes grew with us. I think it must have been in high school, or maybe college when my mom taught me to crochet. I was a scarf queen. Friends and I used to sit around on Sunday nights, watching tv and crocheting together…it was relaxing, it was fun to have something home-made to boast when you were finished. I dreamed of owning a little shop where me and all my friends could sell our wears…

But soon, crocheting lost it’s draw for me and I was back to mom, asking her to teach me to knit.

When we were young, she used to knit us the cutest little sweaters, but for some reason she hadn’t picked up knitting needles for years. I think life got to her and without little ones to make things for, she put knitting on hold for other things, like needlepoint and painting.

But the night I asked her to teach me to knit, it all came back to her like a flood, and she picked it up again like getting back on a bicycle after of years of not riding.

I started with scarves, blankets – easy rectangles and squares. Then moved on to shrugs and baby booties for friends. Fingerless gloves in mohair were a favorite too. The concentration balanced with the creativity has taken me far in terms of stress-relief and getting through chilly football season! In my desire to make some extra cash, i set up shop at a craft show once, made a hundred bucks I think, I was happy.

I sold scarves and baby booties at a garage sale we held last summer. I liked seeing little feet in little socks, my socks. It was gratifying.

I have made one sweater that left much to be desired.

Knitting can be an expensive art that I often don’t have the funds for, but on occasion my mom sees that I’m not working on a project and we go, like little kids in a candy store, to our favorite yarn shop, and pick projects, patterns and yarn, then spend long leisurely Saturday afternoons together rolling yarn balls, casting off, finding gauges and starting projects.

Right now I am not knitting anything. I am finishing up a crochet blanket I started two years ago. I recently cleaned out my yarn stash, and now want to finish undone projects before moving on. It feels good to start fresh, learn something new…

Last year my mom bought me a sewing machine after months of hinting. - I’ve made one tote bag since…albeit a super-cute one, made out of a vintage table cloth and a sheet from Urban Outfitters…but the ideas are swirling and I’m ready for a winter spent inside, spent creating.

I thank my mom for the creativity that runs in our blood, for the inspiration that her life brings, for going to art school, for the little sweaters that she made us wear when we were young.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I remember getting ready for class, coming downstairs - my mom had on the t.v. The first tower had already fallen and we sat on cream leather couches and watched as a black soot fell over new York city. over our living room. We were stunned, mouths open and in shock. We knew no one in the towers - I was yet to have a brother-in-law that worked at the pentagon…
It felt very far away - unreal to me.

That’s how tragedies usually are for me…
The big events move me little, it’s not until I hear stories of individual lives that I am moved.
...a story of a pregnant wife who lost a husband- a story of a man who survived because he forgot to set his alarm clock for work that day –Those are the stories that give me the chills, that make me feel.

I was a year and three months away from leaving for Africa when September 11th happened.
It never occurred to me that to fly across the world that day fifteen months later, in the winter of December, would be out of the question. not going wasn't an option.
So I went to the airport, with containers of luggage and my family in tow…
And I smiled and waved goodbye as I watched tears running down their faces.
I felt brave and heroic as I went to save the world – as they left me to walk alone through all new security check-points and down long terminals alone.

They couldn’t walk me to my gate or sit with me until I boarded, and while I waited alone, only meters from where they had kissed me goodbye, I felt like a small child, frightened and alone.
I brought no cell phone, no computer – no way to tell them I had made it through okay. It would be days before they knew I made it to Uganda safely.

But I left, into a changing world and they let me go…a twenty year old girl, on her own, into a foreign, now turbulent world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


a typical morning for me consists of rolling over and hitting my alarm off at 6:30 am and sleeping until Curtis “lovingly” wakes me up at about 6:50 am// i usually ask him to “make the bed with me in it”... this is my favorite part of the morning, or maybe it’s just another way to get to stay all drowsy and warm for two more minutes// half the time he does it, the other half he’s running late and I begrudgingly roll out of bed, plant cold feet on cold wooden floors and make my way to the bathroom to attempt waking life// after brushing and dressing I sit on my bed, a small towel spread out in front of me with my makeup on it (so I don’t ruin the quilt with a dropped mascara wand or lipstick…yes, I’ve learned the hard way!)// and while I “put on my face” I watch the first ten minutes or so of the today show//

well, this morning I saw a story about the Nielson family.

young couple// young mother writes a popular parenting blog// about her four beautiful children and their life together// there was a plane crash// their bodies are 30 & 80% burned but they made it out alive// both parents are in critical condition and fully sedated// the family has surrounded them// have taken the children in as their own// sister has continued her sister’s blog and has started a blog of her own// nieniedialogues.blogspot.com// blog.cjanerun.com// a true testimony to the love of a family// to the support that can come from strangers// to the power of prayer// I was moved//

makes me want to hug curtis a little tighter// not complain so much about little inconveniences// find the silver lining to my many insignificant storm clouds//

just wanted to share//


Monday, September 8, 2008

i *heart* books

There are a lot of blogs I try to follow throughout the week that lend themselves to my inspiration.
recently I came across this post from hulaseventy.blogspot.com and it just hit a nerve…
it’s been months since my last library outing, but this gave me new motivation…
if only I had more hours in the day to get through all the books that I look at with longing…


Here is what she wrote:

it happens every time we go to the library. I tell the kids only two books. okay, three. okay, seven. and then there I am on the fourth floor, lost in my favorite aisle, my own arms heavy with a ridiculous amount of books, more than I could ever possibly read. my eyes are bigger than my stomach, my appetite voracious. why why why did I not bring a book bag? or a wheelbarrow? a wheelbarrow would be the just the thing. plus, I like the idea of us maneuvering a wheelbarrow full of books down 10th avenue, wobbly and grinning like idiots. I like that idea very much.

I allow myself to check out as many as I can carry. I check them all out because I want each one at my disposal. ready at any given moment, stacked sweetly just beneath my turquoise wooden desk and so available, deliciously available. I want options. I want access to this world and that one, I want the insides cracked open bit by bit or all at once. I want to leisurely thumb through one and then put it down for a week, I want to read three books at the same time. this is the same line of reasoning that has me packing 12 pairs of shoes and 5 different cameras for a weekend getaway. I want options.

I check books out over and over again and half expect to get a note from the library that says, really? again with this book? I admit, I do this because I can. the thing is, I own many, many books. between me and the mister, there's no shortage of books, we are swimming in books, we are mr. and mrs. book lovers of america but the library books, they are something different. they smell different. old and sweet like cigar boxes. they smell like knowledge. and possibility.

right now, I am all about possibility. I'm reading about art and writing and photography and dance, looking at these things in completely different ways. I'm realizing how intricately intertwined and elemental these things have become for me. I'm reading about teaching, I'm thinking about teaching, things are opening up, new developments are in the works and I'm excited, so incredibly excited, more excited than I've been in a long, long time. I'm writing about these ideas and I'm typing so fast that ava says it looks like my fingers are dancing. and I don't even know how to type but she's right. books are flying open and pages are turning and eyes are scanning and ideas are dancing, minds are spinning. worlds are about to shift and change in small and maybe not so small ways. and the books, they continue to feed me like nothing else can. they sit at my feet and they wait to be opened. they wait for greatness.


check out hula seventy's blog it'll be worth the trip.

here is my short list of books on my to-read list:

::1:: My Life in France - Julia Child
::2:: Meridon - Philipa Gregory
::3:: Middlesex - Jeffery Eugenidies
::4:: Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Life & Politics - Eleanor Clift
::5:: A Woman After God's Own Heart - Elizabeth George

Thursday, September 4, 2008

me, a minimalist?

if you know me you know i like stuff.
somewhat of a packrat, i love collections of things (not trinkets, persay) but more like assortments, variety, choices...
i hoard books, love stationery, pens, journals, shoes and purses...
in an effort to simply, i spent last night purging my office of clutter.
three hours and four garbage bags later, my little green office was happily lighter.

today i decided that another blog revamp was in order...and i found just the template to stick with my fresh and minimalistic mood. bright and simple, it's less "fall-y" and more looking towards winter...
a simple backdrop to my often not-so-simple ramblings.

so now i go, back to my office for night number two of my version of spring cleaning...but i like preparing for fall so much better, so i would rather do it now.

here's to autumn organization, simplicity and my every attempt at becoming a minimalist.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

facelifts for fall

i don't know why i mess with things, especially late at night, but after seeing a friend's new blog facelift, i was inspired to undergo a facelift of my own, or two or three...
that is after having spent the entire evening cleaning and purging my office.
but now it's getting late and after a few different variations tried tonight, a blogroll and my profile lost, and a bunch of other annoying things happen, i'm calling it a night and dealing with it tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

welcome in

welcome September
Welcome autumn into my house of golds and greens
We welcome you to push aside the heat and light and let the crisp fresh darkness settle in
We welcome quiet and peace and night
And closed windows and candles burning
Fall is arriving and we sweep floors and bat rugs and wait for the leaves to die and fall and gather

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